For the second year in a row, the Boulder-based Brewers Association and Ticketmaster have experienced significant problems with the sale of tickets for the Great American Beer Festival, which takes place October 10-12 this year.
Today's sale, which was only for registered members of the BA and the American Homebrewers Association sold out in less than thirty minutes (tickets for the general public go on sale tomorrow at 10 a.m.). But many members complained that the system wouldn't let them in or rejected their member numbers when they tried to register.
Hundreds vented their anger on the Facebook pages for the BA and the Great American Beer Festival, prompting the organization to release the following message:
Hi Everyone. We've been reading your posts and wish we could reply to them all individually--the level of interest here on Facebook is nearly as high as it is for the festival itself.
Your staff at the GABF, American Homebrewers Association and Brewers Association sincerely regret the problem with today's member pre-sale. Ticketmaster had a technical problem that unfortunately had a negative impact on many of our members. We are sorry. There do not seem to be any easy answers in the world of large-scale event ticketing. At this juncture, the GABF remains under contract with Ticketmaster through 2014. Going forward, all suggestions and options for ticketing solutions will be under review.
At the same time, there are more thirsty members and craft beer enthusiasts than there is capacity at the festival. We know it is disappointing for everyone who wants to go the festival but can't get tickets.
Thanks for your continued support of the GABF and the hundreds and hundreds of American brewers who make this event all that it is.
The BA capped the number of tickets that were sold today so that it could put the rest on sale to the general public beginning tomorrow at 10 a.m. Those tickets are expected to disappear within minutes, if not seconds.
All told, more than 49,000 people are expected to attend the three-day event.
Westword's Beer Man on Twitter at @ColoBeerMan and on Facebook at Colo BeerMan